It’s our hope that each of you, our readers, will enjoy and appreciate this article we present about these 4 Gorgeous European Gorges. It was certainly our pleasure to gather the information for you. May it provide you with both education and increased awareness.
Certainly, these locations listed herein represent only a portion of the wonders found throughout this amazing region. It’s our belief, though, that they serve as excellent representations of the marvels found here. Check out some of our other articles, as well.
Vintgar Gorge Facts
- Starting off this composition about 4 Gorgeous European Gorges we present the breathtaking beauty of the site known as Vintgar Gorge.
- The comparatively short term given to it serves as one of the two english language names of a breathtaking geological formation. The other, slightly less often used term for this creation of time and natural processes is that of Bled Gorge.
- Meanwhile, in the primary language of the region in which it formed, it’s typically known by the moniker of soteska Vintgar. Regardless of which of these names one chooses to employ when referring to it, though, it remains a true marvel of Nature.
- It’s currently unknown if prehistoric humans ever knew of its existence. Amazingly, the first known discovery of the site in modern times only occurred in 1891. That fortuitous event happened due to the joint efforts of two individuals, both of local origins.
- At that time, the mayor of the local city of Gorje, Jakob Žumer, was exploring the region. He was also accompanied at that time by professional cartographer, Benedikt Lergetporer. Their discovery of the site clearly made an enormous impression on both.
- The visually stunning Vintgar Gorge understandably rapidly became a local destination for sightseeing. Observation walkways and platforms were therefore built to allow access. The first of these actually took shape as far back as the year 1893.
Vintgar Gorge Physical Description
The magnificent creation of geological processes known as Vintgar Gorge impresses all those who view it. It further does so due to a variety of reasons. One of those is its sheer physical size. Though it’s size certainly doesn’t approach the Grand Canyon, it’s respectable.
In terms of overall length, the feature measures approximately 1 mi (1.6 km). The canyon wends its way through the surrounding countryside in a comparatively straight manner. Along the way, though, this marvel of the region manifests some other captivating aspects.
Among these, the walls of the delightful gorge itself literally stand out. The height of those naturally vary along the length of the ravine, of course. As a general principle, however, these beautiful parts of the gorge range from roughly 160 – 330 ft (48.8 – 100.6 m).
The width of the ruggedly appealing Vintgar Gorge also understandably varies along its length. At no point, however, does this measurement exceed 174 ft (53 m). Impressively, at many points along its expanse the gulch closes in considerably narrower than this.
It further boasts a relatively steep downward angle of flow. That’s due to the fact that, from its beginning to end it drops a remarkable 820 ft (250 m). This degree of slope creates some intriguing flows, yet several comparatively quiescent sections nevertheless exist.
Vintgar Gorge Location, Formation, and Features
The location of the eye-catching beauty Vintgar Gorge comes as no surprise to those familiar with its setting. That’s due to the fact that it formed in a region of the world already renowned for its many natural wonders. It’s also the same region that hosts Postojna Cave.
That’s true since this visual marvel lies in general central section of the continent of Europe. There, the picturesque chasm sits in the northwestern section of the country of Slovenia. This places it within the municipalities of Gorje and Bled, one of its namesakes.
This topographical spectacle also forms part of the equally magnificent Radovna Valley. That itself serves as home to the beautiful, and still largely pristine, Radovna River. All of these remarkable features themselves lie within the boundaries of the Triglav National Park.
In the distant past, the river flowed in a different direction. Like many such formations, though, the last Ice Age altered its course. Prior to that event, the body of water flowed eastward. Subsequent to that occurrence, its northeasterly flow carved out a new course.
The limestone composition of the rock strata underlying and comprising Vintgar Gorge resulted in yet more natural creativity. The erosive action of the flow consequently allowed for the creation of additional wonders. That combination is truly stunning to behold.
These include numerous gentle pools of various dimensions. Several areas of respectable rapids also exist along its length. Among the most appealing of these, however, is Sum Falls. Measuring 43 ft (13 m) in height, it’s the largest river waterfall in the entire country.
Verdon Gorge Facts
- Next up among our choices for inclusion in this article about 4 Gorgeous European Gorges comes the masterpiece named Verdon Gorge.
- The absolutely breathtaking formation easily stands out from many technically similar geological features for its great beauty. That fact quickly becomes readily apparent to anyone fortunate enough to visit the stunning creation of natural forces.
- In point of fact, due to that same natural wonder, it also routinely ranks among the most splendid and beautiful of such locations in its area. Given the part of the world in which it formed however, that statement says quite a bit about its beauty.
- The magnificent work of Nature easily earns this distinction for several reasons. But, the most defining, and unforgettable, characteristic of this particular canyon remains the startlingly turquoise-blue coloring of the water that flows through the site.
- Indeed, this gorgeous color lends itself easily to poetic and artistic descriptions of the site. The hue for which the site remains best-known also serves another purpose. That’s because it represents the source of the name of this remarkable geological feature.
- Due to its stunning beauty, as well as its proximity to other popular tourist regions, this product of vast spans of time holds yet another distinction. That’s because the site has, wholly understandably, of course, become an extremely popular destination.
Verdon Gorge Physical Description
Perhaps most notably, the mesmerizing Verdon Gorge markedly separates itself from similar features around the world. This holds true due to the fact that it not only boasts great beauty, but it also represents a comparatively long example of its type of feature.
This occurs as a consequence of the fact that this magnificent site boasts an overall length that measures about 15.5 m (25 km). In places, furthermore, the gorgeous canyon also displays an incredibly impressive maximum depth, measured at roughly 2,300 ft (700 m).
Its own geological structure additionally aids in the coloring of the water that flows through it, though. That’s because the walls along its length primarily consist of the relatively soft mineral limestone. The slow erosion of these serves to enhance the natural color.
Yet not all of the natural wonders of the truly breathtaking Verdon Gorge originate within its boundaries, however. That’s because the gorgeous river which flows through the location originates high in the Trois Eveches mountain range, itself a remarkably beautiful site.
Also, the magnificent work of Nature holds yet another attraction for visitors. At its end, this remarkable example of the beauty of Nature flows into a man-made lake. This addition to the work of Nature sits near the French community of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon.
Verdon Gorge Formation, History, and Uses
This stunning marvel of Nature formed in a region of the globe already well known for its vast array of natural marvels. That’s due to the fact that this marvelous product of natural processes formed in what now constitutes the beautiful country of France, in Europe.
The truly magnificent canyon further began its formation long ago, long before mankind came onto the scene to remark on it. That holds true due to the fact that evidence indicates it formed more than 200 million years ago, during the earth’s Triassic Period.
Quite unfortunately, it also remains unclear when mankind first discovered the wondrous site. However, the first recorded mention of the beautiful gorge occurred in the year 1782. Further, by the mid-1800’s it featured prominently in tour guides of the day.
This remarkable gorge also currently aids mankind in ways other than pleasing the eye. The location now serves as a source of renewable electric power for the region. An amazing total of 5 hydroelectric dams have been constructed in various parts of the gorge.
In addition, the stunning natural gorge understandably now represents an extremely popular destination, for both local tourists and non-locals alike. Many people also readily come for such activities as hiking along its banks and kayaking its gorgeous length.
To no great surprise, though, the nature of the awesome canyon also presents one more feature to attract visitors. Each year, vast numbers of rock-climbers are drawn to the more than 1,500 routes the astounding walls of the Verdon Gorge offer to the adventurous.
Gorges du Tarn
Gorges du Tarn Facts
- The third entry into this compendium of 4 Gorgeous European Gorges is the magnifcent product of natural forces known as the Gorges du Tarn.
- The deceptively simple sounding term applied here names a breathtaking canyon situated in a beautiful section of the Northern Hemisphere. This magnificent region of the world also stands out from similar areas for a fascinating and remarkable reason.
- That’s because it constitutes a unique location formed by an unusual combination of two separate geological forces. Due its unique positioning, this picturesque site further typically maintains a much milder climate than the rest of the surrounding region.
- This is accurate due to the fact that the beautiful area boasts a much milder winter seasons than the rest of the area. Additionally, the summers in the area tend to be somewhat warmer than those of the surrounding regions. This only adds to its appeal.
- Due to these generally comfortable conditions, the area comprising the Gorges du Tarn remains quite popular as a tourist destination. Yet, its popularity doesn’t end there. In fact, tourists and locals alike frequently enjoy numerous outdoor activities in the area.
- These include such activities as kayaking, hiking, spelunking, and rock climbing. But the region also boasts yet another incredible attraction to many, only adding to its already ample charm. A multitude of castles, many from the Middle Ages, also draw many.
Gorges du Tarn Physical Description
Perhaps most notably, the gorgeous geographical feature known as the Gorges du Tarn has some truly impressive physical characteristics. That’s not simply our own personal opinion, however. This somewhat bold statement holds fully true for several reasons.
Firstly, the truly magnificent site possesses a total length measuring roughly 33 mi (53 km). Secondly, the marvelous location further has a depth that varies only moderately over its entire length. That’s because its depth ranges from 1,312 – 1,669 ft (400 – 600 m).
The stunning beauty of the Gorges du Tarn further originated with the actions of the Tarn River, itself a wonderful work of Nature. Having its source on Mount Lozere, this strongly flowing water source eventually carved out the winding path of the picturesque canyon.
Although the exact age of the site remains undetermined, estimates of its age exist. Currently, those estimates place the origin of the site in the Quaternary Period, about 2.5 million years ago. Regardless of age, though, its natural beauty constantly amazes.
Gorges du Tarn Location, Formation, and Wildlife
Perhaps not surprisingly for some, the breathtaking Gorges du Tarn formed in a region of the world already well known for its great natural beauty. That’s due to the fact that the region of the globe in which this geological wonder formed consists of the continent of Europe.
More precisely still, the magical canyon formed in the amazing area that now constitutes the country of France. Further situated in the southern portion of the country, it also happens to lie within the borders of what’s now the departments of Lozère and Aveyron.
It also bears noting that the region in which this beautiful wonder of Nature formed predominantly consists of a very pliable mineral. That’s the relatively soft sedimentary rock limestone. This formed during the Mesozoic Era, between 252 – 66 million years ago.
The comparatively soft nature of the limestone enhanced the erosive effects of the water flowing through the site, accelerating its formation. However, the region also experienced a period volcanic activity, further affecting the nature of the surrounding landscape.
The stunning beauty of the lovely Gorges du Tarn is further augmented by the marvelous flora and fauna so prevalent to the area. Added to the various plant life common to the area, however, numerous cave-dweling species also inhabit the breathtaking site.
These intriguing endemic creatures include two species of small molluscs. Several types of bats also dwell in the caves located in the gorge. Astonishingly, though, several species of vultures even inhabit the region, as well as the recently reintroduced European Beaver.
Cheddar Gorge Facts
- Closing out this listing of these 4 Gorgeous European Gorges is the deliciously appealing location named Cheddar Gorge.
- The somewhat attention-grabbing term it’s known by serves as the only generally used title for this wonder of geological processes. While what it’s called might be a source of a small amount of humor, there’s nothing funny about its natural marvels.
- The distinctive title is derived from its proximity to a village, naturally named Cheddar, sitting nearby. It also holds distinction for items found within its confines. Perhaps chief among these is the oldest complete human skeleton discovered in the region.
- Of course, being named the Cheddar Man, these remains date back to approximately 9,000 years ago. Partial remains of even older humans were also discovered inside the confines of the gorge. These date back around 12,000 – 13,000 years ago.
- The fabulous formation now forms part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest called the Cheddar Complex. It’s thus appreciated for both its beauty and its place in history. A 2005 poll named it the second greatest natural wonder in the country it lies in.
- Unfortunately, though, that presents a problem for Cheddar Gorge. Due to its popularity, it’s now a major tourist attraction in its region. Because of this, it receives about 500,000 visitors every year. This makes maintaining its pristine state difficult.
Cheddar Gorge Physical Description
The breathtaking Cheddar Gorge clearly captures the imagination with its beauty. There’s simply no denying this fact. Yet it also merits appreciation for certain other aspects. That’s because, while not as large as similar features around the world, it’s still respectable.
This creation of geological processes and time extends for apprxoimately 3 mi (4.8 km). It’s not exactly straight, however. On the contrary it tends to wind circuitously through the surrounding terrain. It additionally varies in width significantly along its path.
Its impressive statistics don’t simply end there, though. The eye-catching structure also boasts a moderate depth across it distance. At its deepest part, it measures roughly 449 ft (137 m) in depth. Combined with its tendency to twist , this makes for an amazing view.
The underlying rock strata of Cheddar Gorge consists primarily of a combination of thre types of stone. These include Black Rock slate, Burrington Oolite and Clifton Down Limestone. These layers also contain numerous ooliths and fossils from various periods.
On the northern side of the canyon, steep grassy slopes predominate. To the south, however, it’s bounded by an almost vertical cliff face. Yet it also holds self-contained marvels. Numerous caves also appear within its boundaries, including two beautiful show caves.
Cheddar Gorge Location, Formation, and Ecology
The beautiful Cheddar Gorge formed in a part of the world renowned for its natural beauty. The precise region of the globe it sits in, though, might surprise some of you. That’s true despite that the fact that it lies within the boundaries of what’s now known as Europe.
Inside of that greater area, though, this wonder of geology formed in a region that’s quite distinct. That’s true since it sits inside the borders of the country of England. Its location places it in the Mendhip Hills. That’s a range of hills situated south of Bristol, in Somerset.
The site formed over a period of time believed to total roughly 1.2 million years. Its formation occurred due to the actions of meltwater flooding during multiple glacial periods. As the ice melted at the end of each period, the resulting runoff carved out the gorge.
That same water flow ran under the ground, as well. Its actions additionally carved out the various caves found within its limits. That principally occurred because of the high percentage of limestone in the strata. This permeable stone allowed for a easier erosion.
The marvel of Cheddar Gorge is accentuated even further by the presence of a thriving ecosystem. Many animal species live there, including several types of mice and snakes. Several rare butterflies also appear there. Other animals present include falcons and ravens.
Local flora includes several species that love the high chalk content present locally. This includes wild thyme. One perennial herb present here grows nowhere else on earth! Other floral varieties present include poppies, and several other rarely seen plants.
4 Gorgeous European Gorges
We hope that each of you thoroughly enjoyed reading, and hopefully learning from, this article we’ve written about these 4 Gorgeous European Gorges. It’s also our hope that doing so has left you with either a new or renewed appreciation for such wonders of Nature.
Unfortunately, many other such features around the world now find themselves facing threats to their continued existence in an undamaged state. Many of those dangers, in fact, stem from the actions of mankind. We must do all we can to protect and preserve them all.